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October 20, 2014 / 26 Tishri, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Habayit Hayehudi’

Permission to Attack: The Likud-Beitenu’s Ad Last Night

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

Television in Israel last night saw another round of election ads. Tuesday night’s advertisement by Likud-Bietenu was positive, highlighting the achievements of the government over the last four years. Wednesday night’s, however, attacked the members of the Jewish Home’s candidate list.

Here’s the video, followed by the English translation:

In English:

“Who is really hiding behind Bennett’s smiles?

“Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan number four on the Jewish Home’s list called for the removal of the committee on the status of women.

“Orit Struck, number ten, who called to levy a legal ‘price tag’ from IDF commanders and the police.

“Moti Yogev, number nine, that led the separation of boys and girls in Bnei Akiva.

“Harav Dov Lior, the spiritual leader, who said Baruch Goldstein is holy like the holy ones (victims) of the Holocaust.

“Harav Zalman Melamed who called on soldiers to refuse an order.

“This is the real Jewish Home (party). Before you vote, check whom you are voting for.”

The last time Likud-Beitenu attacked Bennett on his “refusing orders” statement (which he recanted later) and then on the same issue of the other members of the Jewish Home, many people were upset that the Likud was attacking the Jewish Home. “Why aren’t they attacking the left uniting the nationalist camp?” they complained. The notion that one cannot attack a party or politicians who agree with you on ideological issues is absurd.  For month’s Bennett has been attacking the Likud and many members of his list have been doing so publicly for years. (Ayellet Shaked of course was a Likud member until six months ago and based on her appearance in the My Likud magazine probably intended to run in the primaries, so she has not previously attacked the Likud). To say that the Likud can’t criticize Jewish Home in kind is to say that the Likud must standby as the Jewish Home takes its voters.

As for unity of the nationalist camp, if the Jewish Home or Bennett wanted a united nationalist camp they wouldn’t have a separate party. Half the point of political parties is for people to collectively campaign for public support. The nature of campaigning in a democracy is you are either with a party or you are against it. There are many of us in the nationalist camp who have chosen the path of national unity by joining the Likud even though we disagree with certain policies or statements by a Likud Prime Minister. Like Menachem Begin, we believe in a big-tent nationalist movement that can ensure Israel stays on a path towards success and security for generations to come. Of course it takes work and vigilance to ensure that the movement stays on that path, but the election of the MKs on the Likud’s list, the vast majority of whom publicly oppose Palestinian statehood, proves that such work pays off.

If Bennett and others wanted national unity they would have either joined the Likud or they would have at least offered to merge lists prior to the election. If that were the case, they would preserve their right to leave or vote against the government as a group, but leading up to the election the Right would have a united front. They probably could have gotten between 7-10 seats in a united nationalist list for that. But that was not their goal, instead they sought to go after the maximum seats possible, by taking voters from Likud and Yisrael Beitenu.

But the inquiry into whether an attack is fair or not does not stop there. It is fair, and perhaps even obligatory for a public figure to be attacked on something that was negative true. A party or a politician has the right to show why he is / they are better for public office than a competitor. And, the public has a right to know about troubling things candidates have said and done.

There are, however, limits on what constitutes a fair attack. An attack should not, for instance, be misleading. A quote should not be taken out of context to the extent that someone reading or hearing the quote believes the candidate meant something that he did not.

Poll of Polls: Likud Beitenu at 34, HaBayit HaYehudi up to 14.5

Monday, January 7th, 2013

The average of last week’s nine polls ( Dec 30 2012 – Jan 5 2012) (Channel 2/Yediot Achronot, Knesset Channel, Maariv, Yisrael Hayom, Haaretz, Walla, Reshet Bet, Jerusalem Post/Globes, Yisrael Post/Sof Shavua), with current Knesset seats in [brackets], and the average of the polls from two weeks ago in (brackets):

34.0 (34.8) [42] Likud Beitenu

17.1 (17.1) [08] Labor

14.5 (13.5) [05] Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home/National Union)

10.5 (11.2) [10] Shas

9.5 (9.2) [07] Movement (Livni)

9.4 (9.5) [---] Yesh Atid

5.7 (6.1) [05] Yahadut Hatorah/UTJ

4.4 (4.3) [03] Meretz

4.0 (4.0) [04] Hadash

3.8 (4.1) [04] Ra’am-Ta’al

3.3 (2.6) [03] Balad

1.6 (1.4) [02] Strong Israel

1.1 (0.4) [21] Kadima

0.6 (1.0) [01] Am Shalem

—- (0.0) [05] Independence (No longer running)

67.1 (68.1) [65] Right-Religious 52.8 (51.8) [55] Center-Left-Arab Changes from week 12 to week 13: Movement passes Yesh Atid for 5th place.

Hadash passes Ra’am-Ta’al for 9th place.

Kadima passes Am Shalem for 13th place.

Largest Gains: Bayit Yehudi gained 1 seats and Kadima gained 0.7 of a seat. Biggest Losses: Likud Beitenu lost .8 of a seat and Shas lost 0.7 of a seat.

Visit Knesset Jeremy.

The See-through Yarmulkes and the Right of Return

Friday, January 4th, 2013

At this juncture, two and a half weeks before the coming elections for the 19th Knesset, the big surprise – unless we due for some shocking turn of events – is going to be the success of the Jewish Home list led by Naftali Bennett. All the polls are promising the Jewish Home will triple its power, and some optimists are predicting an even bigger victory.

In any event, this will be the first time that the Jewish Home party, built on the ruins of the old NRP, has turned from a purely sectoral party into a wide-ranging Israeli party supported by voters who are religious and secular, Ashkenazi and Sephardi Haredim (it’s a fact!), young people voting for the first time and older people, men and women.

Now, it’s true that King Ahab of Israel has cautioned: “One who puts on his armor [before the battle] should not boast like one who takes it off [after the victory].” (Kings I 20:11) Perhaps for that reason, or perhaps because he wants to stop Jewish Home activists from resting on their laurels, Naftali Bennett has been trying, in meetings with supporters and on other occasions, to cool down the excitement and to lower expectations. He speaks “only” about 12 seats, which is also, you’ll have to admit, a nice figure compared to where he started.

The big questions, of course, are where does the Jewish Home get its new votes? Where do these 7 to 10 additional seats that are adding up in the polls come from? And who are the Jewish Home’s new voters?

We’ll start with the most natural pool of voters: the National Religious public that in the past rejected the politics of both the NRP and the National Union, deserting both of their organic parties to roam instead in foreign lands. The stale image that stuck to the brand NRP also did it in. The National Religious are used to joking that there’s no such thing as a guy under 40 wearing a knitted yarmulke who’s ever voted NRP. Young people who graduated from the national-religious school system—the NRP’s baby—studied in Hesder yeshivas—also cultivated by the NRP—and went to college in Bar Ilan—once again, a creation of the NRP, for some reason have been opting in their later years to kick the NRP down, ignoring the most basic obligation of gratitude. Let’s not go into a long discussion of their reasons for the moment.

THE RIGHT OF RETURN

The enormous pool of voters whose ingestion and birth took place inside Religious Zionism has been scattered in the wind. It landed in the Likud, in Shas, in Labor, in Torah Judaism and in Kadima. Their slogan used to be: anything but the NRP. The image—not necessarily true—of their organic party as an assembly of hacks seeking patronage jobs has kept them away from their natural home.

Now they’re coming back. They utilize their right of return. They’re returning from the Likud, following a list of deep disappointments:

Netanyahu’s commitment to the concept of “two states for two nations,” and his insistence on holding on to it even nowadays (never mind MK Hotoveli’s utterly nonsensical claim this week that Netanyahu’s 2-state slogan was only a tactical move).

 Netanyahu’s housing construction freeze in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, reminiscent of the British “White Paper” of 1939, a decree no leftist government had ever imposed.

 The indifferent, even criminal attitude regarding to infiltration by 60 thousand Muslim illegals from the Sudan and Eritrea, most of whom are criminals and certainly not refugees.

 The torpedoing of the Certification Law proposed by MK Zevulun Orlev, which would have prevented the needless destruction in Migron, Ulpana Hill, and other places.

 The bowing before the corrupt “Cult of Justice,” whose nine high priests on the Supreme Court only this week empowered terror-supporter Haneen Zoabi to run for the Knesset, depriving the State of Israel of its right to defend itself against the fifth column within.

Had the Likudniks minded public opinion, they would have taken more seriously the findings of the Ma’agar Mochot survey from November, 2011, which reported that a huge majority, 75 percent of the public, thinks the high court has a leftist bias. Leftist? They’re leftier than leftists. If only the Likudniks were loyal to their voters… How did it happen that out of the 55 thousand attorneys practicing law in Israel, only the anti-nationalist Yehuda Weinstein was picked for the job of Attorney General? Have they not yet internalize the idea that justice must also be seen?

Hebron Chief Rabbi Pulls Support from Bennett’s Party

Friday, January 4th, 2013

Rabbi Dov Lior, a leading figure in the Tekumah party that merged with Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home’s Knesset list, has withdrawn his support from that same list. The website Srugim revealed that Rabbi Lior was furious when he saw his name appear in campaign ads for Jewish Home, as part of an extensive list of rabbis supporting the party.

Rabbi Lior, who founded Tekumah together with Arutz 7 owner Rabbi Zalman Melamed and Rabbi Chaim Steiner, is the chief rabbi of Hebron and Kiryat Arba, the dean of the Kiryat Arba Hesder Yeshiva, and heads the Council of Rabbis of Judea and Samaria.

Over the past few months, Rabbi Lior has been expressing his dissatisfaction with the way MK Michael Ben Ari, who now runs on the Power for Israel list, was pushed out of the united list by his colleagues. Initially, Rabbi Lior refused to take public measures against Jewish Home, partly because he is related to MK Uri Ariel—who, according to Ben Ari’s camp was instrumental in his ousting, and to Orit Struck, who is a contender on the Jewish Home list.

However, after seeing his name appear in support of the party, Rabbi Lior’s office approached the Jewish Home and asked to immediately remove all references of his support. The official reason they gave was that as chief rabbi of Kiryat Arba and Hebron, Lior could not legally express a political opinion. In practice, however, it appears that Rabbi Lior is simply unhappy with the current path of Jewish Home and the conduct of its leader, Naftali Bennett, and prefers to express his support, in private meetings, to Power for Israel, headed by MKs Michael Ben Ari and Aryeh Eldad.

The Jewish Home campaign stated that Rabbi Dov Lior did clarify that he did not want to appear on the ad supporting Jewish Home, and his name was later removed.

In a somewhat cheeky tone, the campaign added: “We hope that this will not interfere with the Likud campaign, in which the honorable rabbi is involved.”

A spokesperson for MK Aryeh Eldad told the Jewish Press that the surprisingly strong showing of Power for Israel in a recent poll is marking a trend of several weeks, in which the list has been climbing from not even showing in most polls to gaining 2, then 4, and now 6 seats.

“Considering the size of the samples in these polls—500 responding with a plus-minus 2-4 seat margin of error,” the spokesperson, Naama Cohen-Yechezkeli, said, “we have no way of telling whether these numbers are realistic, but they do show a persistent trend.”

This reporter’s theory—which Cohen-Yechezkeli said was “interesting”—is that once it became a sure thing that Netanyahu would be the next prime minister, right-wing voters were looking to vote in a way that would force his future coalition government to the right; but once a string of anonymous revelations started coming out—fueled chiefly by Arutz 7, a media organ closely affiliated with Jewish Home—regarding Netanyahu’s intent to devote his next term to pushing a 2-state solution, right wing voters realized Bennett’s party couldn’t possibly be included in his government, and so they started looking more seriously at Ben Ari and Eldad to represent them.

This could be scored, then, as one more occasion when a negative campaign ended up hurting its source, much as Likud sustained damage by attacking Bennett a week ago.

Likud Continues to Sink, Left Rising, Jewish Home Third Largest

Friday, December 28th, 2012

It’s three and a half days before the January 22 election in Israel, and the major story continues to be Likud-Beiteinu’s downhill slide. The unhappy union of two major right-wing parties, which has been losing a seat a week since its inception, on Friday sank to 33 vote (down from their current 42) in the Yedioth-Dahaf-Mina Tzemach poll, which included an unusually large sample in Israeli terms – 1,250 likely voters, with a 2-3 seat margin of error.

The other big story is that the new beneficiary of Likud’s losses is no longer Naftali Bennett’s HaBayit HaYehudi, but the “near left” parties of Tzipi Livni and Yair Lapid. These two personality-based lists are also siphoning off votes from Labor, which in Friday’s poll was clipped down to 17 seats. Lapid and Livni are holding 11 seats each

Naftali Bennett’s National Religious coalition received 12 seats in Friday’s poll, while Power to Israel scored 2 seats, same as its current presence.

Among the Haredi parties, Shas increased to 11 from its current 10 Knesset seats, Torah Judaism maintains its rise to 6 from the current 5 seats, and Rabbi Amsalem gets 2 seats, an increase of 1 from his current 1 seat.

The extreme leftist Meretz retains its 4 seats. The Arabs receive 11 seats – same as their current number.

The gap between the blocks is narrowing: Likud-Beiteinu, Jewish Home and Power to Israel get 47 seats, Labor, Livni, Lapid and Meretz get 43, the Haredi factions Shas, Torah Judaism and Amsalem get 19, and the Arabs 11.

The lower Likud-Beiteinu’s count, the less able will prime minister apparent Benjamin Netanyahu be to pick and choose among his potential government partners. In my humble opinion, his ideal coalition will include his own 33 seats (if the slide stops), Shas and Torah Judaism (17) and labor (17) for a stable, 67 member coalition.

This will create an interesting conundrum on the opposition side. According to the Knesset protocol, the head of the largest opposition party is appointed Opposition Leader – receiving a salary comparable to a government minister and getting monthly updates from the PM. However, should Naftali Bennett have the honor to head the largest opposition party, he would be facing 11 Arabs, 4 Meretz, and 22 Tzipi-Lapid members, all of whom fiercely oppose his platform.

In the past there was one case of rebellion against a coalition head under reverse circumstances, when Shas and Torah Judaism refused to accept the anti-Haredi Tomi Lapid (late father of the current Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid) as their representative.

This has a Supreme Court appeal written all over it. And guess who loses in Supreme Court appeals…

Wednesday’s Poll: Bennett Gets 15 Seats at Likud’s Expense

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

The Likud’s aggressive campaign against HaBayit HaYehudi and its chairman Naftali Bennett is working like a boomerang against Netanyahu’s party, according to a new poll conducted for Walla by TNS Teleseker. If elections were conducted today, according to this poll, Jewish Home, the successor of historic NRP, would be clearing 15 seats, while Likud-Beiteinu would be cropped down to 35 seats (from its current 42). These are the only significant changes in this poll, leaving all the rest of the contender about where they were on Sunday.

In other words, as we’ve suggested last week, Bennett benefited from the attacks on him by TV’s Nissim (“Beast”) Mishal, followed by stern rebukes from the left and the right, but, most emphatically from Likud – have worked in Bennett’s favor. Asked if he would refuse a command to evict a Jew from his home, Bennett answered in the negative – forcing Netanyahu et al to position themselves to his left. And the folks at home, many of whom could be subject to just such an eviction notice from the next government, got the message.

Shas maintains its 10 seats in today’s poll, and Torah Judaism, likewise, retains its 6 seats (up from the current 5). Labor stays at 18. Lapid takes 10 and Livni 11 – a slight rise for both compared to the earlier poll conducted by Mina Tzemach, but they continue to claim a 20-seat block together.

Power to Israel, Kadima and Rabbi Amsalem are all out, their votes absorbed both by Livni-Lapid and Bennett.

It’s important to note that Netanyahu’s current sluggish performance is being made even worse because of his decision to run on the same list with his former foreign minister Avigdor Liberman. Of the 35 seats Likud-Beiteinu captures in today’s poll, only 22 report to him, and 13 are commanded by his partner—who’s having his own headaches with the prosecution. This is a net drop of 5 seats for Likud from their current 27.

Naftali Bennett speaking to mostly secular students at the Technion in Haifa. Bennett's message is reaching young, secular voters. Photo: Jewish Home.

Naftali Bennett speaking to mostly secular students at the Technion in Haifa. Bennett’s message is reaching young, secular voters. Photo: Jewish Home.

Despite’s Bennett’s success, overall, today’s poll marks a drop for the right, to 50 seats, and a rise for the left to 43. The Haredim stay at 16 and the Arabs at 11.

Two choices emerge from today’s poll for a Netanyahu-led coalition government:

One: (we like OK) would include Labor and Jewish Home, which could co-exist as long as Labor maintains its mild pro-settlements stance. It gives Netanyahu a solid 68 seat majority, and as long as he keeps Labor away from Treasury, he could rule with relative ease (well, with relative stability).

Two: (we like even better) would combine Netanyahu with the Haredim and Jewish Home, for a solid, right-wing (if you can call Shas right-wing) coalition of 66.

Three: (we hate) Netanyahu goes with the Haredim and Labor, gives them all the concessions they feel entitled to, reverses some of his economic policies at the expense of the country’s fiscal well being, and starts chopping away at the settlements – to guarantee for himself U.S. and European support over Iran.

Frankly, the only way to avoid the last option—which is, actually, the classic Likud choice over the past few decades—is to up Jewish Homes take even more. To do that, Bennett would have to appeal to the non-religious Israelis. And while his program is quite interesting and innovative on issues close to the heart of the secular, Bennett would have to get over their prejudices and speak to them directly, over the heads of the media.

It can be done. On Monday – four days after Bennett’s statement on refusal to evict –the very secular agricultural high school Eshel Hanasi held its mock elections and 1,022 students from the elite of the Moshav movement in the south gave 18 percent of their votes to Likud-Beiteinu, same as they did Yair Lapid’s party. But the big winner was the Jewish home, with 37 percent.

Will Naftali Bennett’s ‘Broken Chip’ Kill the Hopes of a Million Voters?

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

Jewish Home Party Chairman Naftali Bennett on Saturday night assembled a press conference at his party headquarters in Petah Tikva, following “controversial” remarks he had made on Thursday, that, should he receive an order to evacuate a Jew from his home, “my conscience will not allow it. I would ask my commander to release me.”

At the press conference, Bennett insisted that he did not support conscientious objection.

“I do not call for disobedience and I never called for refusing orders,” Bennett said. “I’ve been serving as warrior for 22 years, and fought in all of Israel’s wars. I never called for refusing orders. In the Likud they pounced on my words, twisted them and created a false image. I spoke from my heart’s blood, and I do not apologize for what I said.”

So far, had Bennett stopped right there, I would have said he received really bad advice, but at least had the good sense not to ruin whatever positive image he had created during his clash with the bestial Nissim Mishal, a yarmulke wearing television host who makes Mike Wallace look like Charlie Rose.

Mishal ambushed Bennett, attacked him personally in condescending tones, practically cursed him out, cut him off whenever Bennett disagreed with the charges against him, and when in doubt, turned to a team of “experts,” each of whom had his or her own biased, aggressive pack of “research” to dump on the candidate.

Israeli Television has some beautiful, touching shows that are a marvel of artistic achievement. Nissim Mishal’s show is a pit stop on the information highway. Bennett didn’t have a friend in the room – and he held his own quite well. He could have scored higher had he watched more Moshe Feiglin tapes – unlike Feiglin, Bennett appeared like he was actually trying to persuade his host to listen to him. Feiglin has long ago decided that his hosts, by definition, are knife wielding assassins, working for his enemies, and so he speaks over their heads, directly to the audience.

Still, Bennett scored a solid 7 or 8 out of 10 for his overall appearance. Towards the very end of the torturous interview, Mishal asked Bennett if, as a major in the army, he would carry out an order to evacuate Jews – and you’ve read his answer above.

It was a great answer, which all his enemies immediately took out of context, to mean that Bennett was advocating that it was a good thing for soldiers to refuse an order. Hence the press conference Saturday night.

I thought the press conference was unnecessary, especially not on a Saturday night, right after Shabbat. It’s called letting the other side define you. If they call you names, that’s OK, they’re your enemies. But if they call you name and you drop everything to tell the press you don’t deserve those names – you inevitably look like you might deserve at least some of what they’re saying.

If you take your time, and then decide which unique manner of response suits you, and you stick to your own script, rather than change it in order to answer the other side’s accusations – then you haven’t let them define you.

So Bennett committed the first error of a novice by calling the press conference. But it looked like he was coming out of it without losing too many points – when he picked up a piece of paper and read:

“…But I’m a public leader, and now I will say it clearly: a command to uproot a Jewish community is a fatal blow to the most basic human rights, placing soldiers in a dilemma. It is a tough dilemma and cannot be swept under the rug.”

OK, not so bad, I thought, he’s restating what he had told Mishal, something for the press to take home – we might be out of the woods.

And then he said, in the serious tone of a politician who had been drilled by his advisers that he had to say it, had to eat the stinking fish, read it from the paper in his hands:

“But in the end, when push comes to shove, a soldier must fulfill military orders.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/yoris-news-clips/will-naftali-bennetts-broken-chip-kill-the-hopes-of-a-million-voters/2012/12/23/

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